Our new Dean of Studies may be quietly spoken but she is resounding in her efforts to assist Years 7 to 12 students and their families as they navigate the complexities of study and learning in a COVID world.
At Santa Sabina students have a diverse array of options as they move upwards from Year 7, culminating in the decision of whether to take the HSC or the IBDP. Lauren Imber guides and directs them through the processes and pathways of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) requirements from Year 7 to Year 10. For those who choose the HSC she is their champion if there are misadventure or other special provisions needed.
Earlier this year, while NSW was in the grip of COVID among school children, Lauren was swamped in paperwork and heavily reliant on medical and other documentation from our families to ensure the best outcome for students.
‘It can be tricky to balance but we have to ensure the processes allow equitable outcomes for all students – for the same opportunities and for fairness’, she says. Balancing workloads, collaborating with our Heads of House on individual study schedules and with our Careers Counsellor on the inclusion of the externally studied VET (vocational) courses is part of her every day. Patterns of study married with points of NESA compliance are the signs of success in her work.
Lauren has always been a teacher and for 17 years taught at the co-ed Georges River Grammar where she successfully navigated the school through the five year re-registration process. Lauren has taught Social Science subjects in the UK, and in Sydney has headed up academic departments and held the role of Director of Studies.
Coming to Santa Sabina in 2022, Lauren is happy to be closer to home and back to her roots of girls-only education, which is where her teaching career began.
As a high school student herself and while majoring in Geography at university, Lauren felt increasingly aware of environmental issues and became passionate about what was happening and what she could do to effect change. Alarmed by the contemporary problems of nuclear disarmament and deforestation, reaction was not enough for her. She came to the view that teaching would be her career. Educating future generations about what was happening represented a way to change mindsets and empower young people to act and effect real change. She sees teaching as an investment in action. And she has seen it pay off too, with former students going on to specialise as academics and influencers who can proactively work for change.
‘I am very much a Social Sciences person and at school I fell in love with History and Geography’, she says.
Lauren has taught these subjects as well as Business Studies (which she teaches here), Legal Studies, Society and Culture and Economics.
She loves the Dominican drive to nurture curiosity in our students which helps to provide them with opportunities and the ability to make positive change.
Outside of work, Lauren is a busy mum to two boys (9 and 12) whom she describes as the loves of her life. Weekends are not only predictably spent on school sport but also, perhaps less predictably, much time is spent in the kitchen together. They cook as a family activity after planning the entire week’s meals and shopping lists together.
‘Cooking is a good escape’, Lauren says. She also loves escaping into a novel, preferably in a quiet spot in the sunshine, and keeping up with everything on the History Channel.